Ask any player who ever been to St. James’ Park and wearing the Black-and-White stripes, how does it feels playing infront of thousands Geordies faithful each Saturday and hear the roaring thunder everytime the Magpies scores. That moment would be hard to forget.
Even for Andy Cole, who has been quoted as the Geordies number one enemy for what he said after leaving Tyneside to join Manchester United. Deep down inside, they will never forget the time they’re playing with Newcastle.
The same thing happens to our former versatile defender Aaron Hughes. During his time in Black-and-White, Hughes have been playing in any sides of United defence, he can play on the right where he’s prefered to, but can do as good when playing as left-back or in central.
On last Saturday night where he led Fulham side out against his old club, Hughes has no surprised when he saw Newcastle United were backed by 4,000 to 5,000 travelling Toon Army in the Putney End. For the Cottagers, they have enjoyed the highest gate of the season – 24,959.
“That end hasn’t even been half-full for a lot of games, but Newcastle came down and it was no surprise it was full.” Hughes told the Gazette, “It’s how I always remember it being when I was there. You’d go to other stadiums, and they’d always be packed.”
Hughes is hoping his old club can make their way back to European football again next summer. The Toon Army deserved to watching European football next season because of the size of the club and the supports they always give all the way.
“A club the size of Newcastle should be playing in Europe – it’s where they belong.” Hughes added.
Meawhile, up for the next Sunday fixture, another ex-Toon player Andy Griffin is an injury doubt for the Rams trip to St. James Park. He is suffering with a calf injury after he hobbled out of Derby’s home defeat to Middlesbrough last Saturday.
Andy Griffin enjoyed a resurgence under Sir Bobby Robson and made some solid performances in the 2002-2003 UEFA Champions League. His winning goal against Juventus rekindled Newcastle’s campaign.
But when his contract expired the following season, he is moved to Portsmouth on a free transfer, having played 104 games for Newcastle, scoring three goals. He is signed for Derby County on July 31, 2007 with a three year deal.